Exclusive: Inside The New OPP Traffic Tracking Plane

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Exclusive: Inside The New OPP Traffic Tracking Plane

Post by BORG »

Exclusive: Inside The New OPP Traffic Tracking Plane
Tuesday May 6, 2008
CityNews.ca Staff

The OPP are now officially on the lookout for dangerous drivers from the sky. On Tuesday, their Cessna 206 took flight, hovering over the 400-series highways, searching for speedsters, drunks, racers, and anyone else who presents a danger to the public.

If anything suspicious is spotted from the sky, officers will contact their colleagues on the ground who will pull over the vehicle.

"We radio in to our communications centre to police vehicles waiting two kilometres down the roadway, and give them a description of the motor vehicle," explains the OPP's Joe Pillegi.

"You're going have to be watching all the time what you're doing," adds PC Dave Woodward.

New lines painted every 500 metres on roads allow police in the plane to detect speeders. Drivers caught going 50 km/h or more will lose their licence for a week and their car will be impounded immediately.

More than 4,500 drivers have received one-week suspensions since the Highway Traffic Act was amended to include stiffer penalties for street racers last fall.

Twenty-two street racers are nabbed every day on provincial highways.

"The plane will also help us monitor commercial vehicle drivers to make sure they're not passing unsafely, following too close, or driving carelessly. Everyone must obey the law," OPP Commissioner Julian Fantino said.

It's been 27 years since the OPP patrolled highways from the sky. The provincial force used planes between 1965 and 1981. This year's campaign will cost $1.4 million.

Woodward said the OPP actually owns this plane - the force has leased them in the past.

To see how you look from the sky, click the video links.

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